While primary and secondary level education is going through multifaceted crises in this country, the education ministry or concerned offices of the education department are reluctant to admit that. Whatever they are doing and whenever they are doing it, they are considering it the best.
Neglecting objection from educationalists and guradians, officials of the education department had forced annual public examinations on the students of class five and eight. While this didn’t benefit students in any way, coaching and notes-guides sellers’ business have boomed.
The government most recently has excluded public examinations from class five and eight but, has retained the scholarship examination in class five. In fact, there even has been a scandal about publishing the scholarship examination results this time.
In addition to various experiments with public examinations, insufficiency of teachers at primary and secondary levels, delay in textbook distribution, lack of necessary educational supplies in schools have turned into the 'fate' of students.
Two other major problems and incoherences in the education sector were learnt from Prothom Alo’s report. One is concerning the training of teachers and the other is not giving special attention to weak students.
While 145 government high schools in the country have the scope to teach primary level as well, there are no trained teachers at that level. There are no separate teachers for primary education either.
Even higher secondary (eleven and twelve) levels are open in ten of these schools. Those who join these schools are all secondary level teachers.
There are differences between the teaching methods of two levels. Officials of the education department have said that they don’t know how primary education got in these secondary schools. There are no documents on this at the directorate of secondary and higher education.
Teachers of several government secondary schools located inside and outside of Dhaka as well as officials of the directorate of secondary and higher education have admitted that the way this education programme is running now isn’t right at all. Ensuring quality education isn’t possible this way.
On the other hand, data from a report of monitoring and evaluation unit at the directorate of secondary and higher education reports that 61 per cent students of class six are weak in English. The condition of 43 per cent students of the same class is worse or average in mathematics.
Affluent families can spend extra on coaching and private tuitions but poor families cannot. So, discrimination is being created in Education.
Data from a research report published by United Nations’ educational, scientific and cultural organisation UNESCO n last January says that as much as 71 per cent expenses of the education sector is indeed being borne by the families.
This reveals the truth that despite much hype by the government about education, the sector is in crisis. Parents have to bear better parts of the educational expenses. Among the countries of South Asia, Bangladesh has the least budget allocation in education.
To ensure quality education at primary level in the schools, appointing trained teachers has to be made a compulsory. Guardians of the education department have to realise that teachers with training of teaching at secondary level cannot teach well at primary level.
Likewise, extra attention has to be given towards weak students, right in the classroom. Coaching and notes-guides businesses have to be discouraged.
The dual rule of two ministries or directorate that has been going on in the secondary and primary level education has to be ended as well. The issue of training for those, who will be teaching the students, cannot be neglected in any way.
Quality training for the teachers who would teach the students cannot be neglected in any way.